Life at the Hub - Passport in Time

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Life at the Hub . . .

Winema National Forest, Oregon, 1995
by Jorie Clark, District Archaeologist

During Phase I of the Life at the Hub . . . PIT project in October 1995, volunteers assisted with the preliminary surface mapping and collection of diagnostic reference materials from a 1920s railroad logging campsite in the Winema National Forest, Oregon. This National Register–eligible site, located at a major railroad junction that resembles the spokes of a wheel, was home to over 400 men, women, and children. The types of materials they left behind included domestic, personal, medicinal, architectural, industrial, automotive, and other items. In three days, the volunteers experienced firsthand the difficulties of mapping a large site, and learned more than one way to complete the task. We endured the brisk mornings and hot or rainy afternoons, and enjoyed a wonderful farewell dinner and good company. The highlight of our last day in the field was when we mapped and collected the sole of a boot with the manufacturer name of the “Hub.” So, indeed we truly found the “sole” of the Hub!

To continue on with Phase II, we had to reschedule our February date to April. Mother Nature played a big hand with the ice, rain, and snow storms that led to the great flood of 1996. Because of the delay, not all of the Phase I volunteers were able to join us, and they were greatly missed! Phase II involved cleaning, cataloging, and analyzing the collected artifacts. We were able to identify manufacturer’s names and dates from some of the artifacts using a number of reference books on bottles, can, tins, ceramics, and even an 1897 Sears catalog. With a little extra time, we were also able to match, label, and catalog the field photographs of the artifacts that were collected from Phase I. We endured snow (yes, again) and rain, and the dirt and dust from the artifacts, but we were in good company. We watched a video on logging camp life, ate well, entertained the district folks, and visited the Hub site.

We have completed mapping and collecting reference materials for approximately one-third of the site area, but there remains so much more to do. I most certainly look forward to seeing you “Hubsters” again soon! I thank each of you for your interest, enthusiasm, and a job well done.
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